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Like the what, when, how and why of dog agility...

What do Agility folk do when faced with adversity? The answer, for many people, is to use humour to laugh at themselves. There are many people who are anxious and worried about the COVID-19 virus and how it is going to affect them, their family and friends and, of course, their dogs. Here is Alan Waddington's attempt to make you smile.

After more than 20 years of attending agility shows, there are some questions which keep cropping up and for which there does not always seem to be a logical answer. Here are a few of them with my tongue in cheek response. I am sure you can come up with other questions and other answers to these. You might even want to share them.

Let the Q & A begin.


Q. Why are we travelling 100 miles for two agility runs and two jumping?

A. This might be the day we get a clear round or, hope against hope, a clear round win.

Q. Why does it always seem to rain on the night before a show?

A. It probably doesn't. It just seems like it does

Q. Why do you always get the Portaloo that has just run out of toilet paper?

A. Don't be a chump. Check before you dump.

Q. Why do you always get a first class of the day and a last one?

A. Someone up there doesn't like you

Q. Why does it always start to rain when it is your turn to run?

A. If you ran in order, you would not have had that problem.

Q. Why do the dogs with the most difficult names get placed?

A. It is to wind up the PA announcer.

Q. Why does the timing always fail when it is a fast, clear round?

A. It's called 'sods law.'

Q. Why are all the best dogs at the end of a class?

A. I wonder?

Q. Why do dogs always get faulted for “things they do perfectly in training”?

A. Are you being honest? Don't you hate people who answer a question with another? Make that 2!!!

Q. Why is the sweet box always empty by the time the scrimer and judge get to it?

A. Come on, own up. We know who you are.

Q. Why does a dog get faulted as soon as someone says it is going well?

A. It must be more than the power of the commentator's curse.

Q. Why do they have smaller contact zones on competition agility equipment?

A. Hey, come on, we are not talking about snooker tables.

Q. Why is there either a queue half-way round the ring or no dogs on the line?

A. Pass.


Q. When will I get him out of Grade 5?

A. You have to get him out of Grades 3 and 4 first.

Q. When will they start Class 52?

A. Your guess is as good as mine.

Q. When do entries have to be in for XXXX Show?

A. You could try looking on Agilitynet.

Q. When is that husband / partner of mine going to get my dog here?

A. I wouldn't bank on it being any time soon – the football has just started.

Q. When are you breaking for lunch?

A. It depends who you ask.I could eat mine now.

Q. When will I ever get placed again?

A. I wish I could give you some good news.

Q. When will be able to go home?

A. You have done nothing but moan all the time we have been here.


Q. What are the rules for the Team Agility?

A. I don't know. You are the judge!!

Q. What makes a good agility dog?

A. We will be here for ever if we try to answer that.

Q. What makes a good agility handler?

A. You will know when you see one.

Q. My dog does not do weaves. What will happen if I omit them?

A. You will be eliminated – end of.

Q. What is the difference between a Grade 6 course and a Grade 7?

A. If it is a combined class, the answer is none. If they are separate classes – who knows?


Q. Where is Ring 6?

A. Next to ring 3!

Q. Where do I find a strong man?

A. It's no good looking at me. I am well past my sell by date.

Q. Where do I find some strong men to move the A-frame?

A. I think you might be getting sexist.

Q. Where do we find some strong people to move the A-frame?

A. It looks like we will have to do it ourselves.

Q. Where do you want to put the A-frame?

A. Unprintable. Here are the cavalry. I hope the judge does not do what she just threatened.


Q. How do I get my dog to Grade 4?

A. I think you might need to do a lot more training.

Q. How hot does it have to get before the judge closes the class?

A. That sounds like the first sensible question.

Q. How did it look?

A. Sorry I was not watching – WRONG ANSWER.

Q. How does my bum look in these leggings?

A. I've seen worse – A SECOND WRONG ANSWER

Q. How do I get from 15 to 20?

A. Via 16, 17, 18 and 19. A THIRD WRONG ANSWER IN A ROW. It is the doghouse for me!

Q. How many times can a dog and handler do the same course?

A. The most I have seen is four. Three times clear, with timing failure, followed by an elimination and not even a judge's special!!

I hope that you have enjoyed these.

Keep safe and best wishes to you all during these difficult times.

About the author...
Alan Waddington and his wife spend 
part of the year in Spain and the rest in the UK. This year they came back to the UK two weeks in time for the outdoor season! 

He qualified as a judge a few years back and was busy on the Northern Circuit until health issues meant he could not do a full day. He has been known to judge in Spain, however, where there is only a quarter of the dogs we would judge in the UK.

In the UK he does 'sitting down' jobs, usually scriming.

First published 25th March 2020


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